Care Bags for Haitian Neighbors
Love reaches out through us saying we care, and Haitians are not alone in the terrible times that they are experiencing right now. Through us, it gives millions of dollars collectively to try to save lives and help rebuild a human community, but it can do small things that matter, too, through these hands of ours.
I was in a church worship arts council meeting a couple of days after the Haiti earthquake and the music director mentioned that her husband works with several people from Haiti at one of the assisted living centers near our church. I thought, we could just make little baskets with a card and some goodies as a gesture of love and see if we can give one to each person up at the facility who was affected by the earthquake.
People in my church really responded to the idea when I put it out to our email list. Fellow congregants wrote cards, made baked goodies, bought small hand lotions and gift bags, donated money for the $10 gift cards we included, and helped put the bags together and deliver them. We wrote cards saying things like “Thinking of you… Warm wishes and prayers for you and your family in this difficult time. From your friends at First Parish Church.”
When I delivered the bags, the administrators at the facility took charge of giving out the care bags. One administrator told me the next day that they were a complete surprise and brought real smiles to many faces.
When I did speak to a Haitian nurse at a support center where I volunteered over the weekend, she said, “You know, you are all so kind! I mean, I know people are kind, I believe that, but this reminded me of how good people are again.” In such a devastating time, filled with the stress of family deaths and the destruction of her hometown community, she was encouraged and comforted a bit to be reminded that people are good. Aren’t we all, I thought as she spoke with such an open, loving heart.